When you become our tenant you sign a legal agreement. The agreement lists your rights and responsibilities. It also tells you our responsibilities as your landlord. Below you can find out more about your rights as our customer.
- Right to stay in your home
You have the right to stay in your home as long as you follow the conditions in your tenancy agreement.
If you break them we can apply to the court to repossess your home. The circumstances where this might happen include:
- you haven’t paid your rent
- you, or people living with or visiting you, caused nuisance or harassment to other people
- your home has been used for illegal or immoral purposes
- you caused serious damage to your home.
- We aim to help you stay in your home and will only take steps to repossess your home where there’s no reasonable alternative.
- Right to pass on your home (succession)
As long as your tenancy was not passed to you, we’ll offer it to one of your relatives when you die. This person can be a spouse or partner (including same-sex partner), as long as the property is their only or main home at the time of your death.
Your tenancy can also pass to another member of your family. This person must have been living with you for at least 12 months before your death.
If more than one person can take on the tenancy and they can’t agree, we’ll decide who should succeed.
If your family members would end up being overcrowded or having too much space for their needs, we can and will ask them to move to a more suitable home.
Succession can be complicated. Please contact us if you have any questions. We will be able to advise you based on your specific circumstances.
- Right to take in lodgers and sublet
If you want to take in a lodger (someone who pays you to live in your home) we will not refuse permission unless there’s a good reason for doing so.
You must say who they are, as this might affect any benefits you’re entitled to.
Taking in a lodger might affect your council tax benefit. You should contact your local council to discuss the idea before making a commitment.
We won’t allow you to take in a lodger if you don’t have a spare bedroom for them to use. There are other conditions:
- you can’t give that person total control of your entire home
- you can only sublet a part of your home if you get our permission in writing.
- Right to make improvements
You can make improvements to your home as long as you have our permission in writing.
You’ll need to give details of the improvements before you make them. We won’t refuse permission without good reason, but we might put conditions on our approval. These could include:
- obtaining relevant planning permission or building regulation approval from your local council
- using Corgi-registered contractors for gas installations
- using approved contractors for electrical work.
- Right to compensation
As our customer you can make certain improvements to your home as long as you first get specific permission in writing. At the end of your tenancy, you may be entitled to compensation towards the cost of these improvements. This will depend on how long it has been since you did the work. When you ask to make an improvement we’ll tell you whether compensation will be paid and how it’s calculated.
This information will also be published and available on request. We won’t pay this type of compensation automatically. You must ask for it when you give notice to end your tenancy. Any payment will be made after you’ve left the property. For a list of qualifying improvements and further details please contact your local housing office.
- Right to repair
You have a right to compensation where we fail to make a repair and this affects your health, safety or security. This is explained in more detail in the Repairs and maintenance section.
- Right to a mutual exchange
Most of our tenants have a legal right to swap their home with the following:
- other Orbit customers
- local authority customers
- customers of other registered social landlords.
This right is explained in more detail in the mutual exchange section
- Right to information
We’ll be open and transparent at all times. Information on services, performance, rent levels and complaints will be made public on this website and in an annual report to tenants. This follows guidance from our regulatory body, the Homes and Communities Agency .
- Right to be consulted
We’ll consult you on changes or new ways of working that might affect you. For example, you’ll be told if the ways you can pay your rent change, or if service improvements are planned. We’ll take your views into account. You may be consulted
- a visit at home
- a letter
- an article in our tenant newsletter
- a residents’ meeting
- resident association meetings
- taking part in a survey
- attending a focus group or workshop
- joining working parties.
Whatever method we use, you’ll be given time to respond, your comments will be carefully considered, and you’ll be told what has been decided.
- Right to complain
We aim to deliver an excellent service. However, there may be times when you feel you haven’t received a service based on the proper procedures and standards. In these circumstances you’re encouraged to contact us and say what you think has gone wrong.